Being a student at University is great. It’s a unique time in your life where you’re considered to be an adult, but with less responsibility. It’s also a time to discover yourself; what you like and what you don’t and to try a range of different things. Throughout my time at University, I’ve definitely found these things to be true! Here’s a few of my favourite things about being a student…
These are absolutely everywhere, which is very useful for when you don’t necessarily have that much money to your name! From a cheaper Spotify subscription, to free food at McDonald’s, you never know what deals you might get just for being a student! Normally shops publicise if they offer a discount or not, but there is no harm in just asking shops if they offer one or not. You never know how much you could get off, so it’s always worth having your student card in your wallet!
A good way to keep a track of the deals available is by signing up to UNiDAYS for free! You can also pay £12 a year to get an NUS extra card to unlock even more discounts! Whilst I’ve not got an NUS extra card, I use the UNiDAYS app on my phone all the time to check out the discounts and it’s great!
Often as a student at University, you have the freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want to. Of course, this varies from person to person and your classes and lectures should be a priority, but this often only covers around 12 hours of your week. With the rest of your time, it’s totally up to you when you study, go to work, cook your dinner etc. The way that you live your life at University is totally up to you. Your parents are not going to be there to wake you up or go to your lectures!
Also, whilst you get a month off for Easter and Christmas, as well as almost 4 months off for summer, it doesn’t mean that you’ll have nothing to do! Lecturers expect you to write essays, get some work experience and still do stuff for your course when you’re on your break! It’s not all play and no work! Well… for most of the time it isn’t 😉
At University, you get the opportunity to meet a number of different people. Whether they’re from the complete other side of the world, or have the exact same interests as you, you’re bound to meet loads of people and make bundles of friends at University. There’s also loads of places to socialise as well, whether it be the SU bar quiz on a Thursday evening, or a range of social events run by sports clubs and societies, there’s loads of chances to meet lots of people and get involved in loads of stuff.
I lived in the Towers in my first year and it was great for its social atmosphere! I lived with 15 other people in my flat and I got to know people from Lithuania, Japan and Romania, as well as the UK. We held a Secret Santa at Christmas, held Curry Nights and went to comedy nights at the Lakeside Theatre. It was really enjoyable to spend the year in such a sociable environment and it meant that I got to know the people who I live with now in my second year!
A picture of me and some of my flatmates at the SU bar in my first year at the weekly cheesy music and karaoke night “Milk it”
The world is literally your oyster at University as there is so much to do. Alongside the many sports and societies that you can get involved in, there is loads of stuff available to you which you that you might never have considered doing before University. Whether it be volunteering, getting a Frontrunner placement, or going on a year abroad, there are countless opportunities to make your experience amazing.
An example of this is when I played an active part in the broadcaster ITN’s team for the 2015 general election. Along with a team from the University of Essex, I was one of many telephone operators on election night, taking results over the telephone from constituencies across the country before in putting them onto a system. The actions that we made had an instant effect, as the results that we inputted onto the system were broadcasted instantly on ITV television and Twitter. It was such an amazing thing to get involved with. Something which I would have never have done, if it were not for the University!
A selection of the team from the University of Essex outside ITN’s London HQ
Hopefully, this has given you a bit of an insight into some of the best things about student life and inspired you to make the most out of being a student whilst you can!